BEIJING 2008: First Sports Events Get Underway
The first two sports events that will be used to test elements of the organisation for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad – Beijing 2008 will be held this month in China. The 2006 Qingdao International Regatta is currently underway in Qingdao, where the sailing events will be held in 2008, and on 27 August, the International Softball Federation (ISF)’s XI Women’s World Championship will take place at the Fengtai Softball Field in Beijing. These sports events will allow the Organising Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad – Beijing 2008 (BOCOG) to test elements of their operations ahead of the Games in August 2008 – around 40 different sports events are expected to be held before the Games begin.
The 2006 Qingdao International Regatta started on 21 August and will run until 31 August. Welcoming around 500 sailors from 40 countries and regions, this is the first official sports event where BOCOG is involved in testing ahead of the Olympic Games. The regatta features 11 events of nine different classes of boat and is the second time that this new venue has been used for competitions since its opening earlier this year.
From 27 August to 5 September 2006, the Fengtai Softball Field will be the site of the first sports event used by BOCOG for testing in Beijing. The ISF XI Women’s World Championship will be a good test for BOCOG as the competition comprises the 16 best women’s teams on the globe competing for the world title. The basic logistics for the competition will require the local organisers to deal with 272 athletes, 96 coaches, 40 technical officials, 39 ISF officials and guests, 95 observers and a crowd that could reach a potential size of 13,000, which is the capacity of the new Fengtai stadium. This level of complexity will allow BOCOG to test to a good level its venue operation plans.
The Games of the XXIX Olympiad – Beijing 2008 will take place from 8 to 24 August 2008. The Games in Beijing will play host to the 28 summer sports currently on the Olympic programme. Approximately 10,500 athletes are expected to participate in the Games with around 20,000 accredited media bringing the Games to the world.